Kamila Valieva headlined Day 2 of the figure skating team event at the 2022 Winter Olympics, but the action did not stop there.
An hour after the 15-year-old Russian Olympic Committee skater became the fourth woman in history to land a triple axel and approached her own world record score, the team event continued after the bottom half of the countries faded away and the top five proceeded with the free skate/dance half of the competition, specifically the men’s free skate.
The battle for first was expected to be between Yuma Kagiyama, an 18-year-old from Japan who made an international impression when he took silver at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships, and the United States’ Vincent Zhou, the 2019 world bronze medalist who was skating to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in his parents’ home nation.
Kagiyama not only won but blew his previous best score out of the water with 208.94 points, 11.45 higher than what had been his best. His performance featured four quadruple jumps, three of which were clean.
ROC’s Mark Kondratyuk, who unlike Kagiyama and Zhou had also represented in the short program, was the surprise of the men’s free. He placed second with 181.65 points and three quads.
Zhou had a messy skate, including four quads – none of which received full credit, and was third with 171.44 points.
China’s Jin Boyang was fourth (155.04) and Canada’s Roman Sadovsky fifth (122.60).
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